Referred candidates and clients are the best. In this video, learn how to create and implement a routine referral process that will produce impressive results.
- How much easier would your job be if half your candidates and clients were referrals? That could really happen, if you create and implement a routine referral process. Referred candidates are the best. On one hand, they're more willing to work with you because there's an inferred level of trust. They trust the person who referred them so they trust you. Your discussion will be more relaxed, and their answers won't be as guarded as answers from non-referred candidates.
On the other hand, you already know something about the referred candidate before you reach out. That means you'll be able to break the ice and quickly develop rapport. And referred clients are great because they hire faster. Again, it's the inferred level of trust. They have trust established with the person who referred them, so you'll be able to quickly establish trust and rapport. You can position yourself as a trusted advisor, rather than starting out as a vendor.
In addition the person making the referral will often tell you the problems and issues being faced by the person they referred. That means you can position yourself as a logical solution. So, how do you actually get more candidate and client referrals? Start out by developing a specific process. Decide when you will ask for referrals, and how you'll track them. Include asking for referrals as part of your regular candidate interviews, and client discussions.
It's important that you make sure candidates and clients understand they are not referring their competition. When you ask for referrals from candidates, they almost always think you want the name of one of their current coworkers, so they say they don't know anyone. Add these six words to your request, "from your last place of employment," and they'll understand that you're not asking them to violate the trust of their current employer. When you ask for the name of the best engineer from their last place of employment, there is no loyalty, and they will normally provide a name without hesitation.
It's the same when talking to clients. Always assure them they're not referring their competition for top talent. Explain that you have clients who are not hiring this year, which is why you're prospecting. Assure them that their orders, contracts, or assignments, will always be your top priority. One way to help increase your referrals is offer some type of recognition or compensation for referrals that you place or jobs you fill. When your contacts and clients know they will only be compensated for referrals who are placed, it will improve the caliber of candidates they refer.
Be thoughtful when developing your incentive program. We knew our clients could provide great referrals, but couldn't accept any type of gift, so we created a unique incentive. When one client refers another, and we wrote business with the referral, we donated to the client's favorite charity in their name. Our clients' referrals increased by almost 400%. When we placed referred candidates, we sent a nice gift to the person who had referred them.
The result was a dramatic increase in qualified candidate referrals. Keep in mind that to make this work, asking for referrals has to be automatic, whether you're talking to candidates or clients. Ask for the referral, assure them there are no competitive issues, and offer an incentive. Having a referral process makes your job easier. It's much more effective when someone else says you provide the best talent, or represent the best opportunities.
The inferred level of trust that comes from a referral will save you time, money, and provide you with top talent, and great opportunities.
- Selecting a growing niche
- Specializing where talent is sparse
- Identifying the variety of potential needs
- Reflecting your niche
- Sounding like an expert in a new niche
- Marketing to employers of choice
- Contacting past employers
- Creating marketing opportunities
- Filling most of the requisitions you write
- Developing your follow-up process